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  • Writer's pictureTravelling Weaver

Learning and Sharing - Polish Asymmetric Basket

At our regular meeting of basketmakers at Acton Scott this month I had arranged to demonstrate the Polish asymmetric basket.

As a previous enthnography student I was intrigued by this basket and as yet I can find no information on the internet about its origins or been able to confirm that it is indeed Polish - I will dig further and hope to fill in the gaps. However, if you are reading this and feel informed about this basket and its history please let me know.

I have been drawn to the beautiful form and the interpretation that contemporary basketmakers applied to it. Some time ago I spotted Rachel Bower’s beautiful baskets in this style on her Instagram, and she sent me the most clear and detailed instructions for putting down this asymmetrical border. This started a friendship between us, and we have since been able to study on a course together. She recently helped me to make this small round basket and this has encouraged me to explore different variations with the number of uprights and ways in which to complete the wooden handle.

This basket had 18 uprights, which meant that the spacing wasn’t too close for this type of border, but I wanted to have a go at a more open basket and so went on to make this larger basket in a more open style.

The final basket in this experiment was made at Acton Scott Farm Museum, on the monthly meeting of our small group of basketmakers, and I am more satisfied with the shape of this one, although it is something I intend to practice over the next few months. Not least to start incorporating some of the sticks as handles that I have found over the years. My daughter is engraving where they have been found with pyrography.

I would love to hear variations on how you make this basket and any history or information about its traditional use and origin.

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